If you’re a close follower across any of our social media platforms, you’ll have seen we recently made the decision to retire our existing social media marketing courses, in favour of chasing recurring revenue via our social media management services … which then allowed us to focus on one core course offering. Our 12 month long Social Media Marketing Accelerator program.

 

Screenshot of an Instagram Reel taken from The Digital Picnics Instagram feed. The screenshot features a still image of Cherie presenting to a group on the left, and the caption on the right

 

It was both an easy [and uneasy] decision to make, tbh. Easy, because the social media marketing course market has changed so much in the seven years we’ve been within it and we were increasingly seeing courses and offerings on digital marketing training from people who weren’t currently managing anything related to social or digital. Or hadn’t [at all] touched social or digital for 5+ years.

It’s with this in mind that we knew we were about to elevate again to be able to hold a legitimately competitive edge, i.e we don’t just teach, but we have our hands on the “social media tools” daily [literally, daily].  Not only that, we have direct relationships with the majority of the social media platforms we teach in.

That was the easy part of our decision to pull eLearning as we’d been packaging it up for seven years, i.e realising we can fill a gap in the market that we have serious concerns about from an ethics perspective, for example teachers teaching paid ads marketing when they’ve not navigated the huge iOS14 [and soon-to-be 15] changes in the last 6’ish months etc.

The only uneasy part? … knowing we were pulling our existing social media marketing courses from a community we love so very much that was priced with altruism in mind, i.e we had $700 strategy courses that our competitors would charge $5,000AUD for.

With all of the above in mind, I thought I’d walk you through some of the key points that formed our decision making process to pull all of our existing social media marketing courses, and focus on one core offering. And I’ll do this by answering some of the main questions we had from our community when launching our new Social Media Marketing Accelerator program.

 

What gap did you see in the social media training that is currently on the market?

 

 

Screenshot of a slack conversation between our Studio Manager Katie and Cherie. Katie is passing on some good feedback from Cheries recorded presentation

 

It’ll come as no surprise to you here, but it’s digital marketing teachers who practice what they preach.  No, literally practice [daily] what they preach.

I’ve been the student in the fully accredited digital marketing training courses who knew [by asking 1-2 questions that were barely even “hairy” in nature] that I was learning digital marketing with someone who wasn’t [at all] currently practicing, or likely hadn’t even practiced within the last 5’ish years.

And it’s embarrassing.

Actually, it was in that exact moment where I was sitting in the $5 – 10,000AUD fully accredited programs kinda knowing my money had just been wasted on really outdated curriculum, taught by a teacher who hadn’t been “on the tools” within the last 5 or so years … I just knew that The Digital Picnic had to exist one day. And it’s for this reason alone that I guess I don’t mind that I “wasted” 5-10k, because the silver lining was that my own business idea was built off the back of watching a digital marketing teacher with a crimson red face and shaky hands not being able to answer some pretty basic digital marketing questions.  In that moment? I knew: this industry has to do so much better than this.

When you’re learning digital marketing, you don’t just need teachers … but practitioners. People who are the kinds of people their students can ask anything of, and if they don’t know the answer? They’d have a really good approximation, or an industry relationship with someone who does know the answer.

Practitioners, not teachers.  

 

How do you see digital marketing and social media training changing in the future?

 

For many of the reasons stated above, and in line with my “practitioners, not teachers” call? I see digital marketing and social media training being run by legitimate experts, and not the “gurus and experts” on various Instagram accounts who spruik expertise … but when you dig a little deeper? That expertise is no more than a regurgitation of what’s worked for them [and only them] in their specific business.

 

Screenshot of an Instagram post from The Digital Picnics Instagram feed. The Image is an illustrated version of a team picture taken at our docklands studio.

 

That’s not expertise, that’s just an incredibly successful person who’s selling digital marketing and social media training based off of what’s worked for them … and those kind of stories are invaluable but they belong on a panelist chat or a fireside chat somewhere, and not via eCourses teaching social media and digital marketing strategy.

I see this industry also moving on from its “Bachelor degree snobbery”, because whilst a Bachelor degree is valuable? … I’ve employed some of the most talented performance marketing professionals who’ve never gained the Bachelor degree, but have ultimately ended up specialising in paid advertising thanks to doing the right short courses in paid advertising, and ultimately earning themselves bucket loads of experience in paid advertising.

It’s the same with teaching and – specifically – within this industry, i.e we’re not chasing offering fully accredited courses [I touch on our reasons why here], but we are instead offerings ourselves as expert practitioners who are out there > doing the work, every damned day, and loving the work that we do … and subsequently walking a big walk as the direct result of that “every-damned-day” work that we do, ha!

 

How is our new Social Media Marketing Accelerator different from what you’ve delivered and developed in the past?

 

For us, and based on everything above? We’ve gone all in on creating the program that will become the digital marketing and social media training upskilling experience that goes on to become a legitimate pathway for marketing professionals and business owners.

It’s for the people who might have sat in the relevant Bachelor degree, and perhaps they even sat in the fully accredited digital marketing course … but they didn’t benefit from current best practice insights that can only really come from practitioners teaching what they practice, on a daily basis.

It’s for the business owners who aren’t yet ready to outsource their social media efforts, or are perhaps on the verge of outsourcing … but want to oversee their own activity [or their outsourced activity] effectively.

It’s for the people who might have sat in all of the relevant upskilling experiences, but never did learn how to build a digital growth strategy from scratch, or build out a paid advertising strategy from scratch [or in our experience, never learnt how to optimise a paid advertising campaign that isn’t performing well: that’s where you really benefit from practitioner support].

 

Why did you decide to wipe everything you’d developed in the past and focus on the Social Media Marketing Accelerator?

 

Once we knew we were about to lead [really, truly lead] in this space? We knew we had to pull everything in order to be able to concentrate on one seriously good thing … and that’s our Social Media Marketing Accelerator program.

With one core offering? We have the capacity to go “all in” on this, i.e curriculum updates as regularly as anything changes within the industry [which in digital marketing? Well, it’s as often as fortnightly, ha!].

Our curriculum was always up to date thanks to our daily “on the tools” experience[s] as well as our direct relationship with four key social media platforms … but now we have the time [and team] to ensure that if we need to update it as much as fortnightly? We can.

We don’t want you to be me [Cherie, TDP’s Founder].  The person who sat in the $5-10k fully accredited something and asked one hairy question of her teacher, and just about reduced that non-practicing “practitioner” to tears … because they knew they didn’t know the answer.

We don’t want you to drop 5-10k on something, and then subsequently open your notes to paid advertising and see references to paid ads strategies that worked 1-2 years ago [and not now].

We don’t want you to be the person who sits in that digital marketing or social media training upskilling experience that offers the kind of curriculum you feel like you already knew, like “make sure you know who you’re speaking to across the social media platforms you’re concentrating your content marketing efforts on” and “make sure you post at your peak times” and “did you know that video marketing attracts xyz% more views than static content”

Because that’s what teachers teach via regurgitated information, and not digital marketing practitioners.

 

This image is a testimonial from one of our past graduates. The image features a deep etched photograph against blue and purple circles and a light purple background. The quote says "In fact, I landed my current job because of the skills I have learnt through TDPs courses and downloadable worksheets, i.e. "Maxim has done THe Digital Picnics courses" was - from what I've been told - said in the post-interview discussions. Even better, I've scored a promotion in the last week at the same company because of my upskilling and knowledge.

 

For the people who enrol in our Social Media Marketing Accelerator program? We see them graduating from this program knowing that it’s changed their online business and/or marketing career in all of the right ways, forevermore.

We see your businesses transforming via the digital growth strategies that’ll be taught to you by myself [Cherie], and my team of highly skilled practitioners. 

We see your marketing careers forever changed [for the better] thanks to having learnt what they just can’t teach you at university, or via fully accredited courses. Yes, we said it [and we welcome the cease and desist letters, ha!]. We see you subsequently using what you learn across the social media presence[s] you’re representing as a marketing professional, and advancing your organisation’s presence in general … as well as your career [our TDP graduates earn beefy little promotions, courtesy of what they learn from us that they go on to implement within their workplaces].

Additionally, I see you the marketing professionals within this program walking into job interviews with “The Digital Picnic’s Social Media Marketing Accelerator” on their resume … and being better placed to score that job, courtesy of the [very good] reputation we have within our industry.

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Our future [and subsequently your future] looks oh-so-bright.

Find out more about our Social Media Marketing Accelerator program here.